Caregiver allowance

A care allowance is paid fortnightly and covers board, personal items and pocket money. We also provide a 4-weekly kākahu allowance, and allowances for Christmas and birthday presents. 

The rates set out in the table below are effective from 1 April 2024:

Age of child/young person

Weekly rate

Weekly pocket money*

Birthday and 
Christmas allowance (half the weekly board rate)
4-weekly clothing rate
0–4 years $286.08 $2.50 $143.04 $100.12
5–9 years $288.06 $8.20 $144.03 $113.56
10–13 years $310.40 $12.30 $155.20 $140.24
14+ years $332.61 $19.20 $166.31 $168.24
Family home caregivers $315.01 Rates as above (paid in addition to board rates) $157.51 Rates as above

* Pocket money is included in the weekly care allowance rate, except for Family Home caregivers who receive this as an additional amount. The pocket money amounts have been rounded to the nearest 10 cents, so tamariki and rangatahi can be paid in cash.

Additional financial support

If you are a new caregiver, you may qualify for a $350 set-up grant. This money helps you prepare to care for a tamaiti. Talk to your caregiver social worker about this.

Other payments the tamaiti or rangatahi in your care may qualify for, but are not included in the standard care allowance, include:

  • purchasing a first uniform for your tamaiti or rangatahi
  • school camps
  • school stationery
  • club costs (sports and interest groups)
  • school fees
  • early childhood fees
  • after school care fees.

Talk to your caregiver social worker or the social worker of your tamaiti about any additional financial support.  

Inland Revenue has a number of payments, including Best Start, that you may be eligible for to help support you to care for the tamariki in your care.

Find out more about Best Start on the IRD website

Use the Inland Revenue online calculator to estimate your payments

Published: June 14, 2019 · Updated: October 12, 2023